There is ‘Stuff’ Going On …

I have a hard time staying present when talking to friends, family, even my husband some days. I am always bringing up the past, my past. They have raised families, attended weddings, vacationed, changed jobs, moved … all the things ‘normal’ people do. I wonder, is my thought process that stunted? It is. I am more than a bit self-centered when it comes to dealing with my illness. To me, it is the most important thing in my life. To others, it simply is not. An illness is just ‘stuff’ that happens, usually to others

Let’s face it, most people are either healthy, or they are not. They are fat, or they are not. They are happy, or they are not. And when you ask them how they are? They are fine. When you ask someone with a chronic illness how they are… it depends. If they have had their illness for some time, they are fine. If they just got it, you will get an inventory of how they are feeling. If they are not feeling well, you may get, “Like you care?”

No wonder those of us with chronic illnesses do not gain much favor after the diagnosis of ‘chronic’ comes. It’s really a crapshoot dealing with us! A gamble. We are certainly not current in our thoughts, ideas, or family events and happenings. Even though chronic illness tends to take away our ‘ability to engage,’ we try to fight our way back. So, just what is there to talk to a chronically ill person about besides their illness? Those of us with chronic illnesses need to think of ways we can communicate and be present in our lives!

Human beings, in general, get over ‘stuff.’ An illness to most is just ‘stuff.’ People have a lot of ‘stuff’ happening in their daily lives. To a person with a chronic illness, this ‘stuff’ is an all-consuming, every minute of an everyday companion. It must be listened to, cared for, attended to. Hence, we must seek balance. We must seek some semblance of “normalcy.”img_1699

It is time to put the little monster called fibromyalgia on a schedule. You can’t just ignore it, although at times you must put on a brave face and pretend it doesn’t exist! There is a process you must learn. You must re-engage in real life. Current life. When was the last time you had a conversation about anything without an illness in it? Aches and pains, flares and fog? Can you think of a sentence that doesn’t start with, “Because of my [insert name of disease]…” Your deceptive little chronic companion stamps its feet and demands to be heard! It is a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. Guess what? We are smarter than that two-year-old.

We are smarter than a two-year-old. We are done being controlled by a tantruming, time-consuming illness. We will tend to it, on our terms! We will pay attention to it, on our time. We will re-engage in current events.

Ideas:

  • We will find a support group in which to share our feelings, ideas, and resources with.
  • We can make and follow a schedule to reduce the probability of fibro flares.
  • We can follow our medication schedule to keep flares at bay.
  • We can stretch and gently exercise every day.
  • We can pursue hobbies that have nothing to do with fibromyalgia.
  • We can keep a journal, ‘My Complaints Journal’ so we don’t feel the need to report our ills to others, uninvitedly.
  • We can seek out daily, positive activities so we can open a conversation that is pleasant and cheerful.
  • We can take charge of our illness, to the best of our abilities, it will not be in charge of us.

What are additional things, ideas, and/or activities,  we can do to participate and engage in the present?

Let’s live our best life!

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 12.48.43 PM~Kim

27 comments

  1. I have never been a huge fan of “formal” support groups, but everything else on you list is so important. Taking care of the mind, body and spirit, and focusing on other things to divert attention from what is always there, goes a long way

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad. You ok? Any plans for celebrating the 4th? My brother’s birthday is today, and I’m not kidding when I tell you he thought for years everyone took the day off and had fire works JUST because it was his birthday! Talk about a disappointing moment when reality hit! Plan something fun… I will too… 💜💜💜

      Liked by 4 people

  2. So much yes! Very well said. It’s okay and healthy to discuss our chronic illness (it is a big part of our lives after all), but we must seek balance, both for ourselves and our relationships! I too, have never found formal support groups to be very helpful for me (too much constant focus on the negative – which I don’t need help with), but know it is very therapeutic for some. I love the idea of the journal. I will have to incorporate that into my blessings journal (to recognize the hard without venting constantly, but resetting my mind with positive things).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Em! So glad you found this helpful! Incorporating the tough reality of this disease along with your blessings is a fantastic plan! Balance. You are so right. I had a difficult time with the negativity in support groups as well, people needing answers in all stages of their disease… it was so overwhelming. So I stared adminning my own group! It’s a nice place to land! We discuss a lot, from recipes to shoes and yes, even fibro! Hahaha. Keep searching for any group of support. May be a book club or a crafting site? I’m open to suggestions! And would love to hear. Again, love that you are seeking balance and excited that complaints will go right along with blessings! ~Kim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You really hit the rusty nail on the head with me today, Kim! Lol Seriously, mine is rusty for the obvious due to how long it has been sticking in my life.
    I have already been to ER and 3 different health related visits just since Saturday and this is not an unusual week for me. I know I am not alone either. However it is during one of my “flares” where the pain is severe enough in my chest and upper body area, that I would be irresponsible, not to mention more neurotic than I already am if I did NOT go get it checked out. JUST due to the cautionary nature of that area of the body not to mention the potentially serious outcomes if I KEEP ignoring it because of past experiences.
    Anyway, after being reassured that it’s ONLY MUSCULOSKELETAL and not cardiopulmonary….yada yada yada…..another round of specialists and tests ensue. I’ve lost track of how many times I have had to go through this process.
    I guess the most frustrating part to all of this is that I have dealt with this since I was 12….my parents rushed me to the ER then because I woke up crippled one day! When I could finally get out of bed, I couldn’t put any weight on my legs to walk. Long story short….. I was given the diagnosis of GROWING PAINS(physical of course) and the doctors told us that I would end up with some sort of rheumatism or arthritis as an adult. I am 52 now so for forty years I, like many others, have suffered with essentially the same disease syndrome that was always there, but even then they weren’t sure what to call it, what was causing it or even where to start treating it. I don’t blame the medical profession BACK THEN, because I am sure it was a lot less common then and they didn’t have decades of research and experiences to draw from. I apologize for the novel, but…it’s just been another not so fine week for me. Thanks for allowing me to vent everyone. Pain free love, hugs and prayers for everyone.💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susanne! Wow. Thank you for sharing your story, I so appreciate it. I am beyond concerned that this is your third trip to the ER since Saturday. On top of being sick, the ER is so darn tiring! People are sick there!!! I hope you brought hand sanitizer (I’m not kidding.). Since you were 12 years old? OH, my… I can’t imagine a child having to deal with this kind of pain, I know there are many but I have so much empathy for children who have suffered with this debilitating disease. The fact that you are still fighting this battle makes me proud. You a a definite warrior, Susanne! Please don’t ever be shy about commenting!!! This blog is for you, and every reader that wants to claim it. Come back and visit, please update me about you progress to ‘your normal’ again. Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting. I’ll be thinking about you this week. ~Kim

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  4. OMG KIM… MORE HOMEWORK?!?!? I’m still working on the photo challenge!…. I also hope you know that I am just kidding about the homework being a bad thing, I think all of your ideas are great and would be very beneficial for me to put into practice. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All in good time, my friend… none of it needs to be rushed. Lord. If I had all my ‘homework’ done, I’d be a millionaire with no need to blog, I’d buy some darn friends! HA-HA!!! (Just imagine buying yourself, friends… wonder what I shop for in a friend? What would one do to “return” a friend that just didn’t fit?) We should have things to strive for in life, getting there is a whole different blog! Not mine! I’m the first to get in line for ‘homework’ and the last to turn mine in! (If ever~) No harm in that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great post, Kim. One of the first things I did when the Fibro symptoms arrived was to start my blog, I then set up my Facebook page so that I could try and leave Fibromyalgia out of my personal account. All my “healthy” friends do not need to be bored with it. It is interesting how many of them scarcely stop by any more even though it is a safe zone. I am fortunate that I can still pursue my Genealogy and crafting, to give my mind a break from my body. Even though singing with the choir and amateur dramatics have had to become a memory. Alas, there will be no more repeat performances from the tap dancing nuns in pantomime. My new favourite past time is looking for silver linings. I smile, laugh and feel joy on all bar the worst of days. Fibro may have the upper hand with my body but my mind is still my own (except when the fog drifts in and confuses things sometimes without my knowledge). I have signed up for your notifications too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You really made so many healthy choices right at the beginning, Susan. There are many people in our lives that suddenly disappear, especially once acute pain becomes chronic pain. How we handle that determines our quality of life. You reached that stage much faster than I. Thank you for following me, I look forward to following your blog as well, Susan. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

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